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Jamie Court
Jamie Court is an award-winning and nationally recognized consumer
advocate. He is president of Consumer Watchdog, which has offices in Washington, DC and Los Angeles. His latest book, The Progressive's Guide To Raising Hell: How To Win Grassroots Campaigns, Pass Ballot Box Laws And Get The Change You Voted For, was published in September by Chelsea Green.

Court is an early pioneer the HMO patients' rights movement in America and has led successful corporate and political campaigns to reform HMOs, insurers, banks, oil companies, drug makers, and utilities.

Court is the author of Corporateering: How Corporate Power Steals Your
Personal Freedom And What You Can Do About It
(Tarcher/Putnam, June 2003) -- which Publisher's Weekly says is "keeping the muckraking tradition alive" and the Los Angeles Times calls "eye opening...crisply written and lucidly
argued." ( He is also co-author of Making A Killing: HMOs and the Threat To Your Health (

The Los Angeles Times calls Court "a tireless consumer advocate." The Wall
Street Journal says, "He's notorious for his dramatic, sharp-tongued attacks
on the health- and auto-insurance industries, and on any politician who
takes their campaign cash."

Court helped to pioneer the HMO patients' rights movement in the United
States, sponsoring successful laws in California and aiding them elsewhere.
Court's commentaries can be heard on "Marketplace" on National Public Radio and can be read in the Los Angeles Times and
other California newspapers ( He often appears on major national television and radio news shows.

Court has also worked as an advocate for the homeless and as a community
organizer. He has a BA in American and European History from Pomona College.

Entries by Jamie Court

Drugmakers Give Big $ To Docs, Get Higher Drug Prices, More Opioids

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2016 | 10:22 AM

If you wonder why doctors are not mobilizing against the opioid epidemic, or the ridiculously high price of prescription drugs, just look at this statistic: drug and medical-device makers made payments of more than a quarter of a billion dollars in 2015 to California doctors.

That's from federal records.

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Will SCOTUS Apply Its Ruling On Political Corruption To Itself?

(2) Comments | Posted June 29, 2016 | 10:44 AM

It takes hubris befitting a king for the US Supreme Court to rule, on the eve of celebrating the Declaration of Independence, our founding screed against political corruption, that a jury cannot convict a governor for taking $177,000 in loans and favors from a donor he used his political office...

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Remembering a Great Friend of Justice and What the Medical Complex Should Learn From Her

(1) Comments | Posted December 30, 2015 | 12:36 PM

Kathy Olsen is one of those people you can never imagine dying because she was always so full of life. Kathy did die suddenly this month at the age of 59, from a heart attack, following a rough dose of chemotherapy.

Kathy was a relentless advocate for greater patient...

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Supreme Court Imposes a Power Above All Other Laws in America

(101) Comments | Posted December 14, 2015 | 12:53 PM

I woke up this morning to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that rewrote the traditional balance of power between California courts and federal power, as well as between consumers and big corporations.

Until today, California courts had been the final word on the "laws of your state," in...

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Remembering New Age Publishing Pioneer and Friend Jeremy Tarcher

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 2:40 PM

I recently received the sad news that my dear friend and publisher Jeremy Tarcher passed away. Few who walked the earth were ever as good a friend, mentor, or advisor as Jeremy.

As his New York Times obituary noted, Jeremy made his mark publishing groundbreaking new age best-sellers...

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LA Judge Doesn't Approve DWP Overcharge Settlement, Calls for Improvements & Dealing With Ratepayer Objections

(0) Comments | Posted September 11, 2015 | 4:37 PM

Rampant overbilling at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) have proven that the agency has a tin ear when it comes to its customers.

Take the elderly Soviet emigres who were billed $50,000 for water use at their condo and told they had a leaky...

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Does LA DWP Billing Scandal Extend to Sweetheart Settlement With Over-Billing Attorney?

(1) Comments | Posted September 10, 2015 | 10:49 PM

The LA Department of Water and Power's overbilling scandals are epic. They include an elderly couple who are Soviet emigrees and lived in fear because DWP issued a $50,000 bill to them. When they complained, they were told to check for a leaky toilet.

DWP is one of...

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Big Oil Slick Captures Round 1 of CA Climate Change Drive

(1) Comments | Posted September 10, 2015 | 12:30 PM

The power of California's oil refiners is always felt but rarely visible in Sacramento. It was on full display at Wednesday's press conference when the Governor, State Senate leader and Assembly Speaker acknowledged that California's effort to lead the world by cutting petroleum use in half was dead...

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Why CA Climate Change Legislation Will Lower Gasoline Prices

(0) Comments | Posted September 9, 2015 | 2:14 PM

The fate of landmark climate legislation will be decided before the California statehouse closes for the year Friday. Its oil industry opponents are desperate to stop it, claiming the proposal will drive up prices at the pump. In fact, Senate Bill 350, currently written to cut California's gasoline use in...

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Going After CA Gougers and Climate Changers

(2) Comments | Posted September 3, 2015 | 1:54 PM

As California drivers take to the freeways this Labor Day weekend, they will be paying a premium for their gasoline that's 88 cents more than the typical U.S. driver. With crude oil prices at historic lows, and California oil refining profits at historic highs, the Golden State is...
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Starved for Democracy? California Says Pay $2K

(19) Comments | Posted September 2, 2015 | 5:59 PM

Governor Brown's signature on legislation increasing the filing fee for citizens who file ballot initiatives from $200 to $2,000 is the modern equivalent of the famous salvo attributed to Marie Antoinette upon hearing of a famine among the French peasants, "Let Them Eat Cake."

If citizens are starved for...

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Why Is Covered CA Head Shilling for Health Insurance Company Consolidation?

(2) Comments | Posted August 28, 2015 | 10:59 AM

Covered California Chief Peter Lee has claimed that the state doesn't need health insurance premium regulation because Covered California is a tough negotiator with the health plans.
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Ding, Dong: Labor Sends a Message to One of Its Biggest Corporate Collaborators

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2015 | 10:33 AM

In the labor movement, there are two kinds of leaders -- those who fight big corporations, and those who collaborate with them. The poster child for the collaborators just had half his membership taken away.

David Regan, head of United Healthcare Workers West, who inked sweetheart deals with California's...

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Will U.S. Attorneys Stop the California Gas Gouge?

(19) Comments | Posted May 26, 2015 | 10:27 AM

Gasoline in California is one buck more per gallon than it is in the rest of America, thanks to low inventories and a series of suspicious oil-refinery shutdowns that drove huge first-quarter profits for the oil companies.

Our nonprofit Consumer Watchdog has asked California's U.S. attorneys to investigate....

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Golden State Gouging Greatest Ever

(3) Comments | Posted May 15, 2015 | 10:48 AM

At a time of historic low crude oil costs, Southern Californians are currently paying $4.00 per gallon for regular gas.

That's $1.30 more than the national average -- the widest gap ever recorded.

Prices at the pump have skyrocketed 69 cents in one month due to shortages and refinery outages. Convenient for the oil refiners, which reported record first quarter profits.

California oil refiners are the only companies in America that make a fortune when their factories go down.

Californians know gouging when they pay for it, and they are angry. That's why the CEOs of the oil companies are refusing to testify before the state legislature on the gas price spikes. They have no good answers, other than what they tell their investors on calls, which is literally that they're getting rich in the West.

This short video by Tom Steyer's NextGen Climate takes on the gouge and the oil companies' CEOs' refusal to answer questions about it.

It's high time for California oil refiners to answer elected officials' questions with more than silence. At four bucks per gallon, they have a lot of explaining to...

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Your Facebook Post Can Imprison You

(4) Comments | Posted March 12, 2015 | 3:04 PM

What you say on Facebook can land you in a mental institution?

That's what happened to Shane Tusch of San Mateo. Shane was imprisoned in a mental institution because of a post he made as a test exercising his First Amendment rights and a "welfare check-in" call that...

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Show Me the FCC Rules, Please?

(7) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 1:12 PM

Leave it to Washington, D.C., to hand Americans what is probably the greatest consumer victory from that town in a decade and then fail to show them the actual rules.

This morning my 8-year-old and I listened as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) declared that "all bits are created equal"...

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Sen. Boxer's Successors Should Follow Her Example: Rage for Justice

(0) Comments | Posted January 8, 2015 | 1:14 PM

The announcement by Senator Boxer, a true champion of the underdog, that she will not run for the Senate in 2016 will likely make a lot of other state officials rethink how they do their jobs. It's a lot like the moves you make playing musical chairs to make sure...

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California Officials Ready to Spank Oil Companies

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 12:51 PM

I have been watching oil companies get away with price gouging for so many years that it was refreshing to see California's top political leaders let the oil companies know that they're going to be on the hot seat if they try to undermine California's landmark environmental laws taking effect...

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B.S. Alert: Health Insurance Robber Barons Spend $56 Million vs. Prop 45's Rate Regulation in California Without a Single Public Comment

(15) Comments | Posted October 30, 2014 | 10:08 AM

Four health insurance companies are spending $56 million to defeat California Proposition 45, a ballot measure to be decided Tuesday, which I wrote, that bans excessive insurance rate hikes. The insurance companies have unleashed a torrent of deceptive advertising but have remarkably refused to issue a single comment...

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